Ashleigh Gardner in doubt for Australia’s tri-series opener after concussion

Ashleigh Gardner in action. ©Cricket Australia

Ashleigh Gardner, the allrounder, is in doubt for Australia’s opening match of the T20I tri-series and England on Saturday (February 1) after suffering concussion during training on Sunday (January 26).

Gardner was struck on the back of the neck while bowling in the nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the side’s first practice session ahead of the tri-series and the T20 World Cup. The 22-year-old was walking back to her mark when she was struck by a shot from Alyssa Healy, the wicketkeeper-batter, and didn’t take further part in the training.

“It’s not ideal, it was a little bit unlucky yesterday,” said Meg Lanning, Australia’s captain on Monday. “She wasn’t paying as much attention as she should have been unfortunately, but she’s okay. We’re just being precautionary with her and making sure she’s okay. There’s steps she’ll need to go through to be fit for Saturday.”

Ashleigh Gardner has had a history of blows to her head and hence, there will be no rushing back her. During the Women’s Big Bash League in 2017-18, she was struck on the helmet by Perth Scorchers and England pacer Katherine Brunt. She copped a blow against Brunt during the 2017 Ashes as well.

Ahead of the season, Gardner spoke about her history of concussion, saying, “For me personally, I get more of a delayed-onset form of concussion. So rather than actually feeling a bit woozy as soon as I get hit, it’s more so the day after. I have really bad headaches (and feel) nauseous.”

Apart from Gardner, Erin Burns and Tayla Vlaeminck didn’t train with the squad on Monday (January 27). While Burns is on track in her recovery from a knee injury, Vlaeminck is expected to be available for the match on Saturday.